Skip to content

Explain Pain cited evidence – ref#9

Pain physiology education improves pain beliefs in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome compared with pacing and self management education: a double-blind randomized controlled trial

Meeus, M.J. et al. (2010), Arch Phys Med Rehabil 91: 1153- 1159.

Woohoo! The first one that isn’t written by Dr Moseley himself. 

The aims of this one is:

To examine whether pain physiology education was capable of changing pain cognitions and pain thresholds in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and chronic widespread pain.

So they got a random sample of 48 people (Yep, tiny study. Seriously, if this is the best you can do for ‘evidence’ go home. Oh wait, no one looks at the evidence and therefore the book will still sell millions of copies).   These 48 people (8 men, 40 women) . Half were given pain physiology education and half were given a pacing and self-management education session.  Two dropped out (and then there were 46).

The results say “ After the intervention, the experimental group demonstrated a significantly better understanding of the neurophysiology of pain “

NO SHIT! The experimental group were given education in the neurophysiology of pain. THAT’S what you taught them. That’s what the intervention was – teaching the participants about the neurophysiology of pain.  The other group were not taught about pain neurophysiology, they were given a different intervention, so is it really surprising that the people who were given pain education had a better understanding of pain education??? JFC.

They also catastrophised less, apparently.   But they said nothing about pain relief, which was one of the aims of the study.

Their conclusions were:

Conclusions: A 30-minute educational session on pain physiology imparts a better understanding of pain and brings about less rumination in the short term. Pain physiology education can be an important therapeutic modality in the approach of patients with CFS and chronic pain, given the clinical relevance of inappropriate pain cognitions.

See? Nothing about reducing pain or rather “pain thresholds”.  And that was an aim of the study. So, they just don’t mention it again.  Here, let me fix it for you:

Conclusion:  Pain neurophysiology education does NOT reduce pain. 

Author: PsychosomaticAddict

Chronic Pain Patient Advocate. Pain Coach. Patient. Living with High Impact Chronic Pain and advocating for proper pain treatment, including opioids where appropriate. Busting the myths. Exposing the actual science.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *